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Love Your Neighbor

Today I had a wonderful conversation with the ladies on being determined. I know we always
put that word with extreme things like diets or marathons, but I think you might be surprised
how many times a day you do something out of determination. For me, I never leave my house
without the bed made. There is a problem, though. Three days a week, my husband leaves after
me. The solution to making sure it happens, we made a house rule, last one out of bed makes
it. Think about all the things you do during the day. Maybe you smoke. For that to happen, you
have to buy the cigarettes and figure out were in public you can smoke. Do you drive to work?
For you to make sure you are not walking one day, you have to plan to have that vehicle ready
to go. If you want something like convenience or pleasure, you are going to make sure that
whatever you want is available. So when you see that verse that says Daniel determined in his
heart not to defile himself, you can understand there was a plan in place to make it happen.
Romans 14:13 gives a beautiful challenge to being determined. “Therefore let us not judge one
another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a
brother’s way.”
I always joke with my ladies that there is no policeman of the world spiritual gift or hall
monitor. This verse reminds us that being right at all costs is wrong. Just in case you have not
noticed, there is nothing you are going to do or say that will change someone’s heart about
some issues. All we do when we try to push our opinions is to open the door to further
descension. If you really think that your brother or sister is doing something harmful, then you
should be determined to pray about it till God moves their heart. Or yours in case you were
actually the one wrong. I find it curious that we make plans for almost every aspect of our lives,
but when it comes to our spiritual growth, we act like it is just going to materialize.
I once worked with a lady that was incredibly mean to me behind other people’s backs, but in
front of others, she was so sweet. As I sat in a meeting, people went on and on about how kind
she was and how much they loved her. In my head, I asked God to expose her for who she
really was. Then I heard the Holy Spirit ask me if I wanted Him to expose me for who I was. The
next thought was to leave her alone, God. The world of social media is set up in a manner to
one-up your neighbor or goad them into a situation for show. Please be careful. Whatever you
are willing to do to someone else, you are giving permission for God to return the favor. The
Bible refers to those moments as “Woe to you.” The fear of God is a good thing.

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